have a difficult job learning choreography, countless cheers, dangerous stunts,
and all while staying positive no matter the score of the game or on the mat.
To provide the most support for their teams and each other, they have to be strong
as a group and physically on an individual level. Cheer practice isn’t the only
way to develop these skills; there are many opportunities to build strength and
stronger bonds between teammates. Try one or a few of these five ideas.1. Sign up for a race.
Sign up as a team for a 5K, a fun
run, or a charity race.
The squad can train together and get exercise outside of practice. If you
choose to do a race for a cause, encourage the team to work together to raise
funds for the charity or organization. On the day of the race, challenge your
team to finish together. This will allow the faster team members to encourage
the slower individuals, and teach the team to stick together instead of
competing for individual accolades. Better yet, choose an obstacle race or team
relay, where your cheerleaders will need to work together to complete the race.2. Go rock climbing.
Rock climbing is fun and challenging, and
can be a great confidence booster for young boys and girls. Not to mention, in
of 3,500 Americans, rock climbing ranked
second as the hobby people most want to try—so your cheerleaders may be
especially excited for this team outing! The best part: it doesn’t just
challenge physical skills; it also helps to build trust and communication among
teammates. Since the person on the
rock wall is depending on their partner below to make sure they return to the
ground safely, it’s the ultimate opportunity for your team to work together.
Challenge teammates to pair up with someone they don’t normally work with to
make it even more impactful.3. Host a self-defense class.
Self-defense classes are fantastic for
team building and allow participants to learn important, life-saving skills. Not
to mention it’s an opportunity for your cheer squad to learn self-discipline,
improve their balance and strength, and boost their confidence—all of which
help them to be stronger teammates on the sidelines. The key is finding the
right instructor, so look for someone who specifically works
with kids or young girls. Someone who specializes in this area will likely be
able to present the self-defense ideas more effectively to your cheerleaders.4. Create team relay races.
Head to your local park or beach for an
afternoon of casual, fun relay races. Break up your team into smaller groups, determine
the relay activities, and set-up some cones or a starting line. Activities
might include running to a cone in the distance and doing 10 jumping jacks or
five pushups, and then running back to tag the next person in. The first group
to have every member complete the race and/or task is the winner. Bring snacks and drinks so everyone
can refuel and relax after running around. Turn it into a family event, encouraging
event parents to join in for a post-relay barbecue.5. Play the hot lava game.
If your squad is in high school or
college, this will take them back to their elementary school days. They may
have played this game in their P.E. classes, but it’s just as effective with
older kids or teenagers. You can play in a gym, on a blacktop, at the beach, at
the park, or in someone’s backyard. Have players line up in a designated spot,
and mark an area a good distance away as the finish line or ‘safe zone’. The
grass, ground, or sand between the players and the finish line is ‘hot lava’. The
team must work together to cross over the hot lava and get to the finish line,
but they cannot touch the ground. You will need some materials for this game
like planks or bricks, or the rubber dots used in P.E. classes. The team can
use these items and work together to cross the lava without standing directly
on the ground. It will take creativity and a whole lot of teamwork, but your
team will also have a lot of fun. Note that this popular team-building game is
also called swamp crossing, toxic waste and alligator swamp. The rules may
vary slightly, but the concept is the same.
activities give your squad the opportunity to build strength and bond with
their teammates at the same time. There’s no limit to the activities you can
try; the more creative you can be, the better. Start with these ideas or use
them as inspiration to find something better suited to your cheerleaders. About the Author:Jessica Thiefels has
been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time freelance
writer. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness
Nutrition specialist, and the owner of her own personal training
business, Honest Body Fitness. Follow her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for
health articles, new workouts and more.